A Utah committee has responded to allegations “vulgarity and violence” contained in the pages of the King James Bible are reason enough for its removal from some Davis School District younger grade library shelves.
ABC4 Utah reports the original complaint that sparked the move was filed by an unknown person in March. It came on the heels of a statewide law passed in 2022 that allowed residents to challenge any books found in school libraries.
As of March, the law was used 81 times with Davis County having removed 33 books for material found to contain sex, vulgarity, and violence, the report sets out.
A book removal request can be made on the district’s website, however, the complainant must set out their reasoning.
For example, the request for the Bible’s review argued it included 49 pages of scripture that could be deemed inappropriate under the law, including instances of murder, sex, and incest.
Davis County School District Communications Director Christopher Williams said Thursday while the committee didn’t find that the book contained “sensitive material as defined in Utah Code 76-10-1227, 76-10-1201 or 76-10-1203,” some vulgarity and violence was deemed to be age-inappropriate for younger readers.
The Bible will remain on high school library shelves.
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Williams said the Bible is not taught as part of district curriculum and is being removed from about “7-8” elementary and junior high schools.
Williams noted the appeal has already been filed by someone who wants the Bible retained at all age levels. That appeal will be heard by a three-member committee from the Davis School District Board of Education, which will then forward the issue to the full board for a final decision.
School is currently not in session in Davis County and will not resume until August 17.
Williams told ABC4: “It is a process. Anyone who requests a book to be reviewed has to have standing. We don’t jump to conclusions, we go through the entire process. We don’t blow off one request because we think it’s silly.
“This has been very time-consuming. We have 15 committees that have been established for this purpose.”
The committee hopes to finish the review within 60 days, and it is not clear how many schools have a copy of the Bible in the district.
If found in violation of the law, the Bible will be removed from all schools in the district — as was the case with 33 previous publications that have been excised from public viewing.
King James Version (KJV), also called Authorized Version or King James Bible, an English translation of the Bible, was first published in 1611 under the auspices of King James I of England.
The translation had a marked influence on English literary style and was generally accepted as the standard English Bible from the mid-17th to the early 20th century.